The MoD Admit UK Special Forces veto Afghans for War Crimes

In an incredible admission, after years of campaigning, the MOD have admitted that British special forces were able to stop their Afghan counterparts coming to the UK to escape the Taliban despite having previously said they did not have that power.

In a letter sent to the SNP’s Stewart McDonald, the MOD finally admitted that UK Special Forces were able to veto their Afghan counterparts coming by to the UK, where they could be called as witnesses in an inquiry into allegations of war crimes.

McDonald writes: “This is an absolute scandal that the government spent months denying. The veto power outlined in the letter represents a clear conflict of interest for UK Special Forces, as it gave them decision-making power over applications at a time when a public inquiry about alleged war crimes committed by UK Special Forces is underway. The public inquiry, led by The Right Honourable Lord Justice-Cave, has the power to compel witnesses who are in the UK, but not non-UK nationals who are overseas. If the Afghan Special Forces members were in the UK they could be asked to provide potentially significant evidence.”

The letter is here:

McDonald continued: “This is an extraordinary admission by the UK Government, and a complete and utter betrayal of those Afghan men who fought alongside UK personnel and now face being hunted and executed by the Taliban.

That the letter has been sneaked out in the most underhand fashion – clearly in the hope that it would go under the radar during an election campaign – is unprecedented. I intend to share the letter with Lord Justice Haddon-Cave as it is clearly pertinent to his inquiry.”

“For too long, the Westminster parties have agreed an omerta on the Special Forces. I will continue to stand up against this anti-democratic conspiracy of silence, which does nothing but undermine the long-term capability and safety of the Armed Forces and further damage this country’s reputation abroad.”

McDonald claims the letter was sent to the generic SNP HQ email, in the hope that it would be lost in the election maelstrom (mailstrom? – ED).

The Times reports: “The secrecy has worsened in recent years, with the MoD refusing to disclose how many alleged killings the elite units may be under investigation for in countries such as Syria following freedom of information (FoI) requests submitted by The Times.

If the Afghan soldiers were allowed into the UK they could be compelled to give evidence by the judge leading the inquiry into claims that UK special forces murdered unarmed youths and men of fighting age.”

The revelations further undermine the credibility of the British state to be held to account and raises further questions about allegations of the British Forces conduct in Afghanistan.

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  1. SleepingDog says:

    One thing stated in the recent lip-synched D-Day testimony series on BBC recently that struck me as worthy of reflection was that the worst combat atrocities in the Normandy campaign were committed by elite troops. Cruel and humiliating initiations, competing units specialising in sado-sexual traditions, a history of impunity and royal patronage, a recruitment policy seeking out psychpaths and delusionists, a culture of debilitating alcohol and other drug use, and extreme misogynistic and racist expressions seem illustrative not only of British imperial special forces, but typical features of the many forces they trained.

    And whatever pub bores, village idiots and theological defenders of the British imperial quasi-constitution tell you, these forces exemplify the conventional but secretive wielding of Royal prerogative powers. Steeped in colonial violence, the significant aspect here is that there appear to have been such appalling atrocities against children committed that finally some insiders are prepared to break ranks, even if reports of death threats and worse against whistleblowers turn out to be true.

    What may turn the tide towards some transparency, however, is that British special forces, despite their mythmaking conveniently being impervious to scrutiny, are now seen as a massive liability, the MoD as something our presumed enemies could hardly have designed better to undermine our effectiveness and drain our resources, and the draconian secrecy and Blimpishness of the British imperial military-securocrat establishment a ghastly anti-pattern throwback to a long tradition of stupid cruelty and widely-ridiculed waste, hubris, hypocrisy and incompetence.

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